Blog Your guide to the project management workflow

Your guide to the project management workflow


Whether you are newbie to project management or have extensive experience, you will struggle to successfully deliver a project without using an efficient project management workflow. Managing teams, sticking to the budget, meeting deadlines, and responding to requirement changes in an agile environment are hardly possible without having a well-defined workflow in place. A project management workflow will help you to stay unflappable should a project spiral (as it often can). 

First, let’s clarify what the difference between project management and a project management workflow is. 

  1. Project management aims to successfully deliver a project to set deadlines and within a budget. It focuses on the project as a whole and is unique to each project.
  2. A project management workflow ensures the execution of each task within the project. Task execution is standardized and repeatable. A workflow defines each step within a milestone and its connection to the next step. 

A project management workflow is a sequential process that can apply to multiple projects.  

You can see that a smart project management workflow can serve you a great deal for future projects. Additionally, a broad variety of technological tools can assist you with building up an efficient workflow. 


Why is a project management workflow important? 

Project management workflows are important because they create a detailed and cohesive plan with a diagram that includes all the steps, resources and people required to deliver a project. There will be no misunderstandings or miscommunications as everyone is on the same page. You will be able to measure whether your project is on budget and schedule according to your objectives. 


What are the benefits of a project management workflow? 

A well-built project management workflow will improve efficiency, increase collaboration across the teams, improve transparency and accountability and reduce risk and project cycle time. Assignees complete tasks exactly as outlined and in the correct order. 

No task or its deadline will be missed, assignees will know what is expected of them and by when. Streamlined processes allow for visibility and more control over a project. Defined milestones and actions will make reporting easier. You can track the progress of tasks and record the completion of milestones. Also, critical metrics can be viewed instantly, and any issues anticipated. Data will be easier to reference and to compare.  

Read on: Project milestones and how to track them right.

An automated project management workflow allows you to standardize tasks so that the same quality standards can be achieved across multiple projects.  


How to design a project management workflow 

Now you know how important a workflow is in project management, let’s talk about how to build it. The project workflow will usually be visualized by using diagrams, a Gantt chart, Kanban boards and other flowcharts. A project will be broken down into milestones, and milestones into tasks and sub-tasks. A visual flow chart will show tasks, their dependencies, timeline and resources in real-time. 


1. Tasks

Think from top to bottom what steps are required to complete your project. It is important to think categorically vs discreetly. For instance, a software development workflow would typically consist of gathering requirements, creating wireframes, building the software, testing, and deploying. As you document your task lists, sequence the tasks chronologically.  Typically, the items are repeatable and can be used in multiple projects. This is where checklists become useful. If you are not familiar with checklists, learn more on our Knowledge Base.


2. Resources

Define your resources and the tools required to complete all tasks in the first step. This will include personnel and tools (apps, templates, metrics, dashboards) but also missing resources which you need to successfully deliver the project. Vault ERP can equip you with a variety of project management tools - find out more here.


3. Assign roles and responsibilities

Assigning task items will make the entire team aware of who is doing what and enable them to troubleshoot and to communicate independently. Repeatable tasks can be assigned to the teams using automation. Project management software makes team collaboration easy and transparent. 


4. Test and refine

It is crucial you gather real-time data on the project‘s progress to see whether it aligns with your plans and expected outcome. Incorporate feedback from your project team so you can refine your workflow if required. If the project is of a repetitive nature, it will be valuable for the future. 


How a project management tool can help with automating workflow processes 

An automated workflow relies on rules-based logic to launch a series of tasks that run on their own without human intervention. After you have established the rules, an automated workflow can help you with the following: 


Creating projects

Prefill the form with the project’s name, project parent, type, status, start date, finished date, client, project members, whether it is billable, and other essential information. 


Setting milestones and due dates

Create milestones/versions, track progress, view release date and task count and more. 


Changing statuses

Keep everyone up to date on project risks, schedule, and resources. 


Real-time notifications

Automate alerts (e.g., deadlines, overspending) and centralize communications. 


Planning and scheduling

The initial planning schedule will be fed with real data according to the project‘s progress or changes. A Gantt chart or other flow charts will be used to create and manage tasks and schedule. With Vault ERP, you can schedule phases of a project with ease and customize settings to your preferences. Read more on how to use schedules here.


Managing files and project relating contracts

Create, edit, and store project contracts in one place, add reminders and set alerts as required. Here's how you can do it in Vault ERP, for example.


Gathering valuable data and KPIs

To monitor the success of automation and to identify weak points for improvement, you will need to understand KPI metrics. Automation teams will need to focus on the right metrics to drive RPA such as total automated processes, velocity, accuracy and expected business value. Other automated KPIs will provide the all relevant metrics relating to a project, so that you can measure how the actual project progress compares with your objectives. 

Read on: Gain insight with ERP project management dashboards.


Tracking cost on tasks

An advanced project management software offers time tracking tools. Assignees can track their time against specific tasks and projects. Besides having an overview of how much time is spent on the project’s tasks, time tracking provides a transparent base for billing. Read more on the benefits of time tracking here.


Automation is gaining steam across multiple industries for the huge benefits it has to offer. Automating tasks and processes can save your organization significant amount of time, reduce errors, increase productivity, and ensure consistency in quality of deliverables. 

Vault ERP has all the tools to help you implement the best project management workflow in your next project. Gantt charts, KPI dashboards, checklists and a host of other planning tools give you everything you need for your project to succeed, right at your fingertips. Get in touch to find out more.



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